2018 African Playwrights Conference


We at Almasi are pleased to announce our second Almasi African Playwright’s Conference will take place from January 3rd to 13th 2018 in Harare, Zimbabwe. We have three exciting new Zimbabwean voices on deck to have their new plays developed under the facilitation of visiting American playwright Alice Tuan. Our 2017 Walter Muparutsa Fellow Gideon Wabvuta will return to Zimbabwe to work as the resident dramaturg. It is thrilling to have Gideon, who, just two years ago was an aspiring playwright in our last conference and is now pursuing his MFA in writing at the University of Southern California, return to Zimbabwe to plow back into the next crop of young Zimbabwean writers. The conference will hold staged readings of the new plays, free to the public, from January 12th to 13th. Learn more about our visiting artist Alice Tuan and our three playwrights: Rudo Mutangadura, Farai Mabeza and Patrick Miller below. And if you are in Harare, definitely make a plan to attend our staged readings and hear these new Zimbabwean plays presented to the world for the first time. We are excited to conduct another fruitful collaborative exchange between American and Zimbabwean artists and facilitate the potential of new African talent.

Alice Tuan is a U.S. playwright, teacher, and performer. Tuan has had over a dozen works produced, including Last of the Suns, Ajax (por nobody), Coastline, The Roaring Girle, and BATCH, one-act plays Some Asians and Manilova, 9 short plays and a self-scribed hypertext performance as part of En Garde Arts’ final production, the site-specific Secret History of the Lower East Side. Tuan has facilitated playwright workshops at all levels throughout the United States, including MFA candidates at both the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas, Austin, and the California Institute of the Arts. Before becoming a playwright, Tuan taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in China and Los Angeles.

Two-time Walter Muparutsa Fellowship recipient, Gideon Jeph Wabvuta is a playwright and actor based in Harare Zimbabwe. He studied B.A Honors in Theatre Arts at the University of Zimbabwe. He has featured in a number of professional productions as an actor that include The Father, The Convert, No Cause, and many other local Zimbabwean productions. He has been part of the Almasi Collaborative Arts reading series in Zimbabwe in plays like A Raisin in the Sun, No Good Friday, The Elephant Man. He also featured in a reading of The Year of the Bicycle at the Cell theater in New York. As a director, he directed two reading, Fences by August Wilson and Nongogo by Athol Fugard. In the realm of playwriting, he developed Master’s Shoe at the Almasi African Playwrights festival which saw him being invited to the Ojai Playwrights Conference by the Artistic Director Robert Egan.


Farai Mabeza is a journalist working out of Harare, in his other life. He has a keen interest in blogging but theatre is his primary interest and passion. All the above feed into each other anyway. His heart, mind and soul are always attracted to a good work of art and he likes spending his time on the road travelling even for no apparent reason.

Rudo Mutangadura is a writer who lives in Harare, Zimbabwe. She writes political and social commentary with a comic twist. She has written plays that have been read in Sweden and performed at Intwasa Festival, Harare Festival of the Arts (HIFA) and The National Arts Festival in South Africa. Rudo enjoys retro movies mainly from the 1960’s, watching tutorials on youtube and she hopes to one day soon learn to ride a motorcycle so she can ride it across the length and breadth of Africa.

Patrick Miller (Millz) who’s a Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumnus, Writer, and Artist is passionate about telling stories and creating imaginative content. Ever since his first performance as Joseph in a nativity play when he was five, Millz’ fascination with the arts has grown. Over two decades later, he is now a playwright, artist and an “activist on a sabbatical”. In April, he started the monthly Writers Meet-Up that is steadily growing in numbers and momentum. He is working on establishing the Writers’ Café to house not only the Writers Meet-Up but also other literary arts initiatives.